St. Bonaventure University


Hill, Christopher

Dr. Christopher Hill

School of Arts and Sciences

Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Department Chair
Faculty Co-adviser for the Math Club
Office phone: (716) 375-2025
Send an email
De La Roche 301 C

Undergraduate Instruction

  • MATH 107. Introduction to Statistics
  • MATH 111. Mathematics for Elementary Education I 
  • MATH 112. Mathematics for Elementary Education II 
  • MATH 122. Calculus for Management and Social Sciences 
  • MATH 135. Quantitative Reasoning
  • MATH 151. Calculus I 
  • MATH 152. Calculus II 
  • MATH 207. Discrete Mathematics I 
  • MATH 208. Discrete Mathematics II 
  • MATH 241. Linear Algebra
  • MATH 251. Calculus III 
  • MATH 252. Differential Equations
  • MATH 312. Geometry 
  • MATH 322. Mathematical Probability 
  • MATH 323. Mathematical Statistics 
  • MATH 351. Introduction to Real Analysis I 
  • MATH 409B. The Problem Solving Seminar
  • MATH 413. Number Theory 
  • MATH 453. Complex Variables
  • MATH 486. Topology 

Recent Projects Mentored 

  • Adviser for Brett Chiodo's 2022/2023 Senior Comprehensive Project: Gauss' Proof of Fermat's Last Theorem for n = 3.
  • Adviser for Erica Low's 2021/2022 Honors Project: Elliptic Curve Cryptography: An Efficient Cryptosystem and Its Applications.
  • Faculty Examiner for Emerson Graham's 2021/2022 Honors Project: Sex During Pregnancy: A Demand for Comprehensive Women’s Health.
  • Mentor for Spencer Mummery's 2019/2020 Senior Comprehensive Project: Cryptography and the RSA Algorithm.
  • Mentor for Alex DePlato's 2018/2019 Senior Comprehensive Project: Understanding Fourier Series.
  • Field examiner for Riley Eike's 2016/2017 honors project, Eat, Drink, Go Bona’s: a Guide to Restaurants Surrounding St. Bonaventure University.
  • Mentor for Joseph Posillico's 2016/2017 Senior Comprehensive Project: Resolving Hilbert's Third Problem.
  • Mentor for Jordan Farnham's 2015/2016 Senior Comprehensive Project: A Look at Fractal Dimensions and the Importance of Fractals in Finance.
  • Mentor for Mitch Kovacs' 2015/2016 Senior Comprehensive Project: Investigation into Consecutive Integers with Equally many Distinct Prime Divisors.
  • Mentor for René Sandroni's 2014/2015 Senior Comprehensive Project: An Exploration of a Continuous but Nowhere Differentiable Function.
  • Mentor for Levi Lewis's 2014 Senior Comprehensive Project: Hirchhorn's Proof of Jacobi's Four-Square Theorem
  • Ph.D. in Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • M.S. in Mathematics, Colorado State University.
  • B.S. in Mathematics with a Minor in Physics, Colorado State University.
  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics, St. Bonaventure University: Aug. 2003–present.
  • Assistant Professor, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa: July 2001–Dec. 2002.
  • Assistant Professor, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina: Sept. 2000–May 2001.
  • Lecturer, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa: Aug. 1998–July 2000.

Recent Zometool Workshops and Geometry Barn Raisings Organized 

  • Zometool workshop at the Challenger Learning Center of the Twin Tier Region, during the Moon vs. Mars Summer Camp. Participants: 4th & 5th graders. July 24, 2023.
  • Zometool workshop at the Challenger Learning Center of the Twin Tier Region, during the M.E.L.T.S. Winter Camp. Participants: K-3rd graders. February 21, 2023.
  • Zometool workshop at the Challenger Learning Center of the Twin Tier Region, during Engineering Day of the M.E.L.T.S. Winter Camp. Participants: 3rd-6th graders. February 18, 2020.
  • Zometool workshops in "A STEAM-Powered Adventure at the Quick Center." Participants: 5th- and 6th-grade students and teachers in the Bolivar-Richburg school district. July 31 & August 1, 2017.
  • Zometool Camp at St. Bonaventure University. Participants: twelve students, ages 9–13. June 26–29, 2017. 
  • Two Zometool workshops during Creative Arts Day at Coudersport Jr. Sr. High School in Coudersport, PA. Particpants: high school students. February 24, 2017. 
  • Zometool workshop at the Challenger Learning Center of the Twin Tier Region, during the "Space Dreamers" Science Camp. Participants: 3rd-6th graders. February 21, 2017.
  • "Zometool as a STEAM Educational Tool," a Zometool workshop at the 2016 Art Teacher Professional Development Day at the Quick Center for the Arts, St. Bonaventure University. October 6, 2016.
  • Zometool Club at Southern Tier Catholic School. Fall 2016–spring 2017.
  • Zometool Camp at SBU. Participants: thirteen students, ages 10–13. June 27–30, 2016. 
  • A geometry barn raising with Allegany-Limestone Central School. Linda Dodd-Nagel's 66 8th-grade students built a six and a half feet tall 12,540-piece structure representing a three-dimensional “shadow" of a four-dimensional figure called a runcitruncated hypericosahedron. May 20 and 24, 2016.
  • The Connect 4 Project. 87 middle school students and their teachers from the Allegany-Limestone, Hinsdale, Olean, and Portville school districts worked together to build the world's first stage-6 Sierpinski tetrahedron made from Zometool. The structure stood 13 feet tall and contained 32,770 parts. The project was completed on the stage in the Quick Center for Arts on May 7, 2015.

Recent Talks

  • "Infinite Quest: A Brief History of the Computation of Pi," at Science on Tap at the Four Mile Brewery, Olean, NY. March 10, 2022.


  • Martine Grant (with Jeff Peterson and Denny Wilkins): Development of Proposed Curricular Changes to Improve the Effectiveness of a Quantitative Reasoning Requirement at St. Bonaventure University. Grant was for $3600. (2007/2008)
  • Martine Grant (with Jeff Peterson and Denny Wilkins): An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement at St. Bonaventure University. Grant was for $6000.(2006/2007)

Additional Accomplishments 

  • Hill, C. (July, 1999). Uniform distribution modulo one on subsequences, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society.
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, received as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.
  • Departmental Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, received as a graduate teaching assistant at UIUC.

My goals as a teacher are to help students become independent thinkers and to help them develop the skills and the confidence needed to tackle challenging problems. Accordingly, my philosophy of teaching is characterized by the Socratic method, small-group work, and problem-solving strategies.

When the instructor poses questions to his or her students, be it in class or during office hours, the students become active, rather than passive, participants in their learning. During office hours, an instructor can tailor the questions to the needs of a particular student. The instructor’s queries can be designed so that it is the student who discovers the key that unlocks the problem at hand. I've observed again and again that students are capable of more than they realize.

An instructor can ask only so many questions during the lecture. Inevitably, most of the time most of the students are not involved in the discussion. Small-group work is a way for nearly all of the students to be active participants in their learning nearly all of the time. As students work together in groups of about three on a worksheet or project, they are providing themselves with examples, making mistakes without being penalized, talking mathematics, and meeting their classmates.

Every problem contains within it a lesson. Author Richard Bach puts it this way: There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. The lessons lurking within a mathematics problem are the principles that we apply to solve the problem, whose utility extends to countless other problems. These “gifts” are called problem-solving strategies. Although students encounter a vast number of problems during a mathematics course, only a small number of problem-solving strategies, in conjunction with basic knowledge of course material, are required to tackle almost all of them. By unlocking so many problems simultaneously, problem-solving strategies help to demystify mathematics. I strive to point out key strategies as they arise in the problems that I work for my students.


I am deeply interested in community outreach. I have organized several Zometool workshops, "geometry barn raisings," and projects with middle school and high school students and am looking for opportunities to do more. For more information, please see my webpage of Zometool Resources.

To promote mathematical problem-solving at St. Bonaventure, I created and teach MATH 490B. The Problem Solving Seminar (formerly MATH 281), run the Bona's Bonus Problems Program, and act as the local supervisor for the Putnam Mathematics Competition.

Dr. Jeff Peterson, Dr. Denny Wilkins, and I worked on an extended project on improving the quantitative literacy of students at St Bonaventure University. In particular, we studied the effectiveness of the quantitative reasoning requirement in the Clare College curriculum (the core curriculum of St. Bonaventure). Our project was funded by 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 Martine Grants. In the spring of 2013, we created a new course, MATH 135. Quantitative Reasoning, which is a foundational course in quantitative literacy.


I'm fascinated by the visual presentation of information, so I often pursue projects and activities that may be characterized in this way. For example, I organize the Arts & Sciences Exposition and I'm the Arts & Sciences web editor for the university. I love cinema and I'm gradually learning American Sign Language.